I have a Linux server, and it's doing a lot of disk io. There is one process that is doing most of the disk writes. I found this out with iotop, which shows the processes that are doing disk I/O. Is there an equivant programme (in the debian lenny apt repositories) that will show me what files are being written to? a 'top' like interface would be great? Is this even possible?

2 Answers 2


lsof may help if you know the process you want to watch:

lsof -p <pid> -r 5

-r is the number of seconds between checks.

  • 1
    that'll show me what files are being written, is there any way to see how much data is being written? Jan 20, 2011 at 12:10
  • I am not aware of a tool which does both, so in the meantime you may just want to watch the files (once identified with lsof) with du over some period of time to see the changes.
    – Cakemox
    Jan 20, 2011 at 13:14

You can use sysdig:

sudo apt-get install sysdig;
sysdig -c topfiles_bytes;

There's also an interactive (top-like) terminal program that might be useful in your case.


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